Power Laws in Polymer Solution Dynamics
Journal article, 2003
The dynamical screening length xi(h) in semidilute to highly concentrated polymer solutions of poly(methyl methacrylate) in propylene carbonate has been examined using photon correlation spectroscopy and pulsed field gradient nuclear magnetic resonance. A crossover between different concentration dependent regimes, xi(h)similar tophi(-alpha), where alpha is found to be approximate to0.5, approximate to1, and approximate to2, is observed when the local viscosity is taken into account. Here phi is the volume fraction of polymer in the solution. Well-defined crossovers between alpha=0.5 and alpha=1 corresponding to a transition from a marginal solvent to a theta solvent behavior have been predicted to occur due to the reduction of excluded-volume effects between the spatially correlated polymer segments with increasing polymer volume fraction. However, a clear experimental validation of the crossover has never been presented before. The third regime (alphaapproximate to2) is observed in the highly concentrated region where the static screening length is comparable to the persistence length of the polymer. The observation indicates that the rigid rod model previously used to describe concentrated solutions is an oversimplification valid only in the very high concentration limit. The obtained results at high concentrations are discussed in the frame of a simple physical model where segments at the persistence length scale are treated as flexible rodlike segments.
photon correlation spectroscopy